Plumbers can be expensive, often charging more than $100 an hour to fix your leaking toilet. If you have just a few basic skills, you will save money by taking care of the most common toilet repair problems yourself. Toilets today have the same basic parts and usually need one of a few simple fixes. However, you will run into several problems along the way.
Toilet Repair – Low Water Levels
This is one of the most common toilet repairs, and it is fixed by adjusting the valve on top of the toilet tank drain pipe. There are problems that typically occur during this fix. The drain valve may be rusted shut. In this case, lubricate it with WD 40. If the adjustment does not work and the water level is still low, there may be another problem with the toilet.
Replacing the Flapper Valve
The flapper valve covers the bottom hole in the toilet tank. When opened, water rushes into the toilet bowl to flush the unit. When the valve is not seated in the opening, the bowl may lose water or continually draw water from the pipes. The valve itself can not be replaced. It may be adjusted by creating more slack in the toilet chain. However, a full replacement is usually in order when this part fails.
Wax Bowl Ring
The wax bowl ring is the part that seals the toilet to the pipe flange installed in the bathroom floor. When replacing this part there may be some problems that arise. First, the toilet must be set directly onto the flange in order to create a proper seal. Second, the bolts to connect the base to the flange often rust and sometimes must be cut using a metal saw.
If the complete replacement of the wax bowl ring does not solve an issue like a leaking base, a bigger issue like a cracked bowl might be the problem. The wisest way to repair this is to install a new toilet. The cost of a toilet today is minimal compared to the number of hours you will spend trying to seal porcelain. There are few products or adhesives that will create a true water tight seal.
A re-installation is the most extensive repair made on a toilet today. There are many problems that arise during this task. The first has to do with the size of the base. All toilets need to be seated on the floor so the hole in the base seals to the flange. In tile floors, sometimes the flange will be recessed. Therefore the flange must be raised or lowered to accommodate the installation.